Cardinals 8, Brewers 3

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—In Little League, Jim Edmonds would have excitedly told his parents about the grand slam he hit.

Edmonds circled the bases after a pair of errors on a three-run double in a pivotal at-bat in the fifth inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-3 Wednesday night. Teammates joked in the dugout that he needed to go out for a curtain call.

“I was just figuring it would be a double,” Edmonds said. “It was one of those things, a break for us.”

Jason Marquis worked around a three-run homer by Carlos Lee in an otherwise solid six-inning stint, and Scott Rolen had two RBIs to take the team lead with 11 for the Cardinals. St. Louis is 2-0 at new Busch Stadium after going 50-31 both on the road and at old Busch last season, and is 13-5 against the Brewers the last two seasons.

Manager Tony La Russa put fingers to both ears when asked about that dominance.

“Hit rewind, I didn’t hear that,” La Russa said. “It’s a brand new year and they’re going to have a winning year.

“We’ve had a lot of tough games with these guys and that score today was misleading.”

Brewers manager Ned Yost said his team can’t afford miscues like they made in the fifth inning when they’re playing the Cardinals.

“The whole inning was self-inflicted,” Yost said. “They don’t stop putting on the pressure, they keep coming, they capitalize on mistakes.”

The game drew a standing-room crowd of 40,648 at the $365 million stadium, situated about a block south of the old park.

Dave Bush (1-1) gave up eight runs, seven earned, in six innings for the Brewers. Milwaukee has lost three straight after a 5-0 start and pitchers have surrendered 21 runs the last three games after giving up 14 the first five.

The Cardinals led by a run when they loaded the bases with none out in the fifth against Bush on a hit batter, a single and a five-pitch walk to Albert Pujols. Edmonds followed with a drive to the right-center that right fielder Geoff Jenkins tracked down but then booted out of his glove.

Jenkins partially blamed outfield grass that he said hadn’t yet taken hold.

“I went to field it and where I thought it was going to be, it wasn’t there,” Jenkins said “It came back and hit my glove and my shin.”

Edmonds kept running and second baseman Rickie Weeks’ relay to third was late and wide, scooting into the Brewers’ dugout, and Edmonds was awarded home to put the Cardinals ahead 8-3.

“I just saw him kick it one time and I thought, well, they’re going to be more concentrating on trying to get the guy at the plate,” Edmonds said. “I just kept running.”

Marquis (2-0), the only member of St. Louis’ rotation with a losing record last year, gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked none.

“I started off on the right foot and hit a little snag,” said Marquis, 13-14 last season. “I got back to it in the sixth and felt good overall.”

The first three Cardinals reached against Bush in both the second and third, and St. Louis scored twice in each inning for a 4-0 lead. Rolen, who had only 28 RBIs in an injury-shortened 2005 season, had an RBI single in the second and a sacrifice fly to the warning track in center in the third.

Yadier Molina contributed a run-scoring groundout in the second and Pujols, who has driven in 10 runs, had an opposite-field RBI single in the third.

Lee hit his third homer, a line shot that barely cleared the left-field wall, with none out in the fourth after singles by J.J. Hardy and Jenkins.

Bush faltered in his second start for Milwaukee. He allowed one run on two hits in seven innings in his season debut against the Diamondbacks.

The Brewers missed a chance to get back into the game when they left the bases loaded in the eighth against Brad Thompson. Prince Fielder popped out to end the threat.

The Cardinals’ bullpen, which has struggled, threw three scoreless innings.

Notes

Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter, the NL Cy Young winner, received his Player’s Choice award as last season’s outstanding pitcher in the NL during a pregame ceremony. … Bush’s single in the third was his first career hit in five at-bats. … Gabe Gross has appeared in all but one of the Brewers’ first eight games, all as a pinch hitter. He walked in the seventh and is 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. … OF Juan Encarnacion, who entered the game in an 0-for-10 slump, was 2-for-4 to raise his average to .200.

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